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CEOs Rank Culture as #1 Priority for Success

April 25, 2017 by Michelle Smith Culture is front and center for leaders who want to increase performance and strategic alignment in 2017. “Culture is the X-factor,” said Noah Rabinowitz, senior partner and global head of Hay Group’s Leadership Development Practice. “It’s the invisible glue that holds an organization together and ultimately makes the difference between whether an organization is …

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Building a B2B Brand Starts with Stories, Not Standards

April 20, 2017 by Chris Schermer As a B2B marketing agency, SCHERMER often gets asked to do “branding.” Typically, it’s marketers who want help with their brand positioning, messaging and identity so that they can create more consistent and compelling communications. These initiatives generally spawn a standards manual, website and marketing campaign, but not truly complete and compelling brand experiences …

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Stop Burning Budget on Inefficient Strategies

April 18, 2017 by Chuck Frey Would you stack bagfuls of cash into a crude pyramid, and then set it on fire? Of course not! That would be stupid, and you’re not stupid, so you’re not going to ignore inefficiencies in your content marketing initiative, are you? Here are five areas that are especially problematic: 1. You’re producing content, but …

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RESEARCH: B2B Enterprise Content Lacks Audience Centricity

April 13, 2017 by Carla Johnson Research from the Content Marketing Institute, released yesterday, shows how far B2B marketers still have to go to put customers squarely in the middle of conversations. Too many B2B marketers still focus on their brand, rather than their audience. In fact, 53 percent of respondents say they focus on creating content for audiences versus …

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10 Things Marketers Need to Know About AI

April 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into more and more industries, including marketing. While brands aren’t ready to hand over the reins of responsibility to AI quite yet, smart marketers are getting a handle on what it means to them and the future of their profession. A recent article in CIO points out that AI-enabled …

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10 Things Marketers Need to Know About AI

April 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into more and more industries, including marketing. While brands aren’t ready to hand over the reins of responsibility to AI quite yet, smart marketers are getting a handle on what it means to them and the future of their profession. A recent article in CIO points out that AI-enabled …

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Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

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Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …

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Hearts or Minds, Which Do You Want?

March 30, 2017 by Carla Johnson Elliot was a good husband and father. Then he began to complain of headaches and seemed to lose his concentration and sense of responsibility. He took a battery of psychological tests, but they showed nothing. Elliot was coherent and smart with a near-flawless memory. He was referred to Antonio Damasio, head of neurology at …

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How Creative Are You? Take the Test.

March 28, 2017 by Carla Johnson A Harvard grad, Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon was a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who researched creativity. In 1949 he founded The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). After his retirement, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. Throughout his career, MacKennon dug deep into …

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How to Tame the Content Approval Monster

March 23, 2017 by Chuck Frey Lurking in the corner of your office is an unseen threat to the success of your content marketing efforts. It’s the approval monster and his favorite activity is not to dismember, devour and destroy, but rather to plant his fat butt on top of your content, bringing your publishing process to a screeching halt. …

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4 Ways You Can Humanize Marketing and Build Relationships

March 21, 2017 by Brian Carroll We need to stop treating our customers like objects with our marketing and treat them like people. Be human first by recognizing their humanity. So how do you humanize marketing? Let me explain. I don’t know about you, but I’ve become weary of all the “personalized” emails that I’m receiving lately. It’s not that they’re all …

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One Hurdle that Holds Your Career Back and 4 Exercises to Overcome It

March 14, 2017 By Carla Johnson I’ve written about why marketers need to embrace change. And while I hear people agree this needs to happen, there’s a disconnect between what they say and what they do (imagine that). Agreeing that change needs to happen and being the one actually to change are two different things. An unwillingness to change is …

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If LEGO Built Your Brand Experience, What Would It Look Like?

March 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers love massively creative work. We hype Super Bowl ads. We study the most innovative companies. And we follow curious minds. But that’s where much of our inspiration ends and reality sets in. We have bosses who would never go for such wild ideas. Budgets that can’t stretch that far. There’s too much bureaucracy. …

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RESEARCH: Marketers’ Confidence at All-time High, But Still Room for Improvement

March 7, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers’ confidence rose from last year. While almost a third (30%) of marketers say they’re worried that their organization isn’t investing in the right customers. That number is down 13% from 2016. These are the findings from the Marketers’ Confidence Index, a survey released by the American Marketing Association (AMA) in partnership with Kantar …

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30 Seconds to Killer Storytelling Anytime, Anywhere

March 2, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve written about how high-quality storytelling can take companies out of the commodity conundrum and actually help raise prices. “That’s great!” readers tell me. “But how do I actually tell a story?” I’d like to share the easiest and quickest storytelling formula ever, courtesy of former Disney Pixar writer Emma Coates. Story, story everywhere. …

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Five Tips to Help You Write Outstanding Content For Your Blog

February 28, 2017 by Jessica Kane Content is king, and blogs often make the best castles. Unfortunately, many people struggle to consistently write the type of high-quality content that attracts and holds readers, and stands out in search. These five tips can help you more dependably write outstanding content for your blog. Organize Your Content Poorly organized content is difficult to follow, …

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Why Customer Experience is Rooted in Story

February 23, 2017 by Carla Johnson Stories have characters – heroes, villains and mentors. They have a setting. They have plots that unfold over time. And they have themes. The same must be true for story’s function in marketing. Brands that make themselves the hero of the story waste opportunities to become relevant to their audience. Customers’ worlds revolve around …

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The C-Suite Squeeze: CMOs Turn Over at Unprecedented Rate

February 21, 2017 by Carla Johnson What does it take to be an above-average CMO? According to recent research from Korn Ferry, it’s holding onto the C-suite chair for more than 48 months. In fact, at 4.1 years, CMOs have the shortest average tenure of executives, about half that of the average CEO and less than the overall average of …

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2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing

February 16, 2017 by Carla Johnson B2B marketers are finally getting a handle on some big digital challenges. That’s the message from DemandWave’s recently released 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing. The research shows that the quality of sales leads is marketers’ top priority. That ousted last year’s biggest hurdle of measuring and proving ROI. Perhaps one of the reasons …